Cancellation of NWLA-filmed 'Salem' hits filming community

Cancellation of NWLA-filmed 'Salem' hits filming community

(KSLA) - "At least we still have 'Salem!'"

That had become an all-too-common refrain among those working in the struggling film industry known as Hollywood South.

But now it's the end of the road for the television show filmed in Grand Cane and Shreveport. It's being canceled after its third season ends.

The shuttering of that production means the loss of lots of jobs in the ArkLaTex film industry.

WGN America's  "Salem," had become the last sure-fire success for Hollywood South.

"Probably one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life," production assistant Gina Jennings said.

On-set medic Greg Washington said the announcement of the show's cancellation came as a huge disappointment. "It felt like I was getting punched in the stomach by Mike Tyson."

Jennings, Washington and most of the nearly 200 other cast and crew members live right here in Northwest Louisiana.

"For 3 seasons, I've worked with all these people who became my family and my best friends," Jennings said. "So just think like you're not going to see your friends and family anymore."

Not having any advanced warning or show finale makes it that much tougher, she said.

But there may have been a few warning signs.

Jennings and Washington recalled that the mood of executives behind the scenes seemed a bit off while filming Season 3 earlier this year.

And that wasn't the only potential clue.

"Seasons 1 and 2 had 13 episodes; and then Season 3,  we only had 10," Jennings said.

The question now becomes "What now?"

"I'm telling everybody that I'm not going to decide until the new year," Washington said. "It's kind of like, 'Ah, I should enjoy the holidays'."

Jennings and Washington concede that with so little else happening at the moment in Hollywood South, leaving for another film job is likely an option.

Shreveport-Bossier Metroplex Commissioner Arlena Acree told us her office is working on some projects for next year.

Those include a producer who is flying in next month to scout for possible filming locations. That project would be for a small, independent, faith-based feature film that would shoot at the end of summer, Acree said.

Shane West, one of the stars of "Salem," turned to Twitter shortly after the cancellation was announced on the same social media venue.

He tweeted: "Hard to believe".

West often was spotted throughout the Shreveport-Bossier City area during filming.

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